It’s time to start making our holiday wish list and every woman has put a designer purse at the top of that list. One of our favorite purse brands that we hope to see under the tree has now been sold to an iconic company.
Companies buy each other out in the fashion industry all of the time. Just a few months ago, Michael Kors bought out Jimmy Choo. And another company has been added to the 2017 “bought out” list.
Kate Spade, a fashion and accessory company that began in 1993, was bought out buy its major competitor, Coach, which began over 50 years earlier in 1941.
In a $2.4 billion dollar deal, Coach bought out Kate Spade in July with a transaction of $18.50 for every stock of Coach. The goal of this purchase was to appeal to more millennial shoppers.
Kate Spade has struggled in the past few years due to competition and the constant discounting of products.
Coach anticipated reaching $50 million in savings through their inventory management and supply chains. This goal seemed to be out of reach in August when its shares fell to their lowest point in four and a half years after pulling out Kate Spade in nearly half of its department stores. Revenue is projected to be less than predicted at $5.9 billion. The gross margin is expected to continually fall in the 2018 fiscal year, standing at 66.5 percent in August, falling from 67.8 percent.
“In an unpredictable environment, we are evolving to drive our long-term success by reinventing ourselves,” Coach Chief Executive Officer Victor Luis said in a statement.
Luis continues to hold faith in Kate Spade outlet stores. He plans on opening 25 in the upcoming fiscal year. He also hopes expanding to the men’s market will help the company increase profit
BJ Wilson and Company, a professional wardrobe-consulting firm, started up in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1983. The company also offers services in personal styling, special event styling, personal shopping, travel packing and gift buying.
Believe it or not, BJ Wilson, the owner, founder and image consultant for the company, didn’t always want to go into the fashion industry. Before building her business, Wilson was the only woman in an architectural firm, working as an assistant. She became the person her colleagues went to when they didn’t know what gifts to purchase for their wives or girlfriends. This gift-buying service spiraled into an interest in consulting.
We dress ourselves for a majority of our lives, and we develop our own style. We know what we like, and what we don’t like. So why do people turn to a professional wardrobe consultant instead of sticking to what we know?
“People recognize that they need the help,” Wilson said. “They aren’t knowledgeable, they don’t know what to buy. A consultant that’s professional can educate their customers.”
Every business owner has bumps in the road, and those bumps often come one after the other at the very start. Even though she has an entire page of customers raving about her business, Wilson faced a challenge that most companies struggle with in the building process. She struggled to find employees that were loyal and knowledgeable that she could rely on to help her thrive.
Success stories like BJ are what can inspire the rest of us. A few words of advice from someone experienced in the fashion industry can be just what we need to take that next step in our career.
Wilson believes that being trained in some form of retail background, for at least one year, is what many fashion industry newcomers lack.
“Work retail, on the floor,” Wilson said. “That’s what can kind of give you direction.”
Wilson also opened up “Knowledge is Sales,” a fashion retail training resource.
BJ Wilson and Company offers online classes and group seminars to people that are looking for help in specific style areas including how to dress in the workplace and dress codes.
For those wondering what is “in” right now, Wilson has a variety of favorite current fashion trends, including feathers, fringe, the color red and metallics.
Find out more by visiting http://bjwilsonandcompany.com
Sometimes I think of Entrepreneurs as being a breed apart from most people. I talk to many and they say things like, “I feel like I was meant to do this” or “I will have major regrets if I don’t”. Or “I dreamt of this my whole like”. The following qualities are what I have observed that successful entrepreneurs have in common.
Being a driven entrepreneur means never settling and never being satisfied. You have to always want more for your business and your own personal success. Be hungry for the next best thing. An entrepreneur should always have their eyes on a bigger and better prize.
Life will always throw curveballs at you, always put roadblocks in your way and always throw a wrench in your well thought-out plan. Never let a downfall dissuade you. You have to adapt to unforeseen changes and to the trends in your industry. Learn how to roll with the punches and make the best of a situation. Just because your business doesn’t go according to your plan doesn’t mean the new plan is bad. It’s just a new plan that can lead you to the same finish line: success.
We’ve all heard the saying “If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s corny and played-out, but true. For instance, there is a lot of money in the makeup industry. But if you own nothing but Chap Stick, then don’t throw yourself into the industry just for the money. If you are going to pursue something, and you’re going to jump into it full-force, you have to be passionate about what you’re investing so much time and money in. If you believe in something enough, you can have the power to make others believe in it too.
There are ideas and then there are goals. Ideas are thoughts that pop into your head that sound intriguing. Goals are benchmarks in your career that you want to achieve. Don’t just talk about ideas forever. You have to set your goals and do everything possible to reach them. Being goal-oriented allows you to set plans in motion that can build and lead to success.
Nothing is guaranteed in life, that’s what makes it interesting, and it applies to entrepreneurs as well. Risks can lead to rewards. Sure, we all wish that our success could be 100% guaranteed when we make a nail-biting decision, but you never know what could come of it. Emailing that intimidating investor or raising your hand in a meeting to question an authoritative figure might lead to something new and exciting.
Mistakes are part of life. They most definitely are part of business. It is important to learn from them. But, even better if you learn from others. Here are 5 that you should avoid.
An employee will only work hard if they feel like they are respected at the business. Treating your employees poorly can result in poor service on their part, which could hurt your clientele. Respecting their availability, acknowledging their successes and keeping a positive work atmosphere will keep them motivated to work hard. We’ve all had bad bosses, and you don’t want to be someone else’s.
What’s hot, and what’s not, can change at the drop of a hat? Staying relevant is how you stay in business. You need to stay on top of the current, and upcoming, popular trends to give your customers what they want, not what they wanted last year. All types of businesses go through trends, and optimizing those trends brings in customers that could lead to them finding something they didn’t expect. They come for the trend but could stay around to see what else you have to offer.
We may want to, but it’s impossible to please everyone. As a business owner, you need to learn your demographic. Who’s buying your product? The same person that buys sweatpants with cartoons on them is most likely not the same person that’s going to buy a pair diamond-studded heels. And that’s okay! Find a niche, and run with it. Trying to incorporate 30 different types of styles and interests is only going to confuse people.
There’s always going to be someone bigger and better than you. There’s always going to be someone more successful that is making more money than you. But instead of being jealous of them, ask them how they did it. Never be too proud to ask for advice. There are so many people in the world of business with different experiences, different strategies and different success stories. Always be eager to learn more.
The number one mistake that we make not only as business owners, but as people in general, is that we focus on staying afloat, never trying to go above and beyond. Never settle. Never be happy with just surviving. Always try and thrive to the best of your abilities.
I keep hearing people in our industry say that retail is on its demise, but that’s because companies don’t know how to do it anymore. It’s time to change up our customer’s experience in our businesses. I think we have the ability to turn it around. We need a retail renaissance.
The reason why retail is going downhill is due to the lack of helpful employees and increase of computers. The sales help is either not well trained, or they don’t exist at all. Companies are automating their businesses to the point where it’s impossible to even speak to someone on the phone. Many companies may think that computerizing the retail experience increases efficiency, but more often than not, it decreases a shopper’s excitement and motivation to make purchases. Automating a store can make customers feel like the company isn’t willing to go the extra-mile to make their shopping experience a pleasant or enjoyable one through face-to-face interaction.
Shopping is a form of entertainment. We’ve all spent hours shopping on our days off because we find it fun, and even relaxing. Incorporating entertainment into your retail company can keep people engaged, and this is something that can only be done with human interaction. Automating your business lacks the human qualities that we look for in retail help like an upbeat attitude and the ability to give opinions. I went into a clothing store the other day and the manager immediately approached me. We held great conversation and I found myself making multiple purchases before leaving the store. I felt like the staff was knowledgeable and focused on customer satisfaction which made me feel like a valued buyer.
It’s time to bring back what made retail so successful: quality customer service. The more you automate retail, the worse off you are. So take away the automated system on your help line and connect your customers to reliable employees
No matter how good your fashion business is there is always room for improvement. I myself am always looking for ways to refine my business. Whether it is streamlining my processes or refining my marketing I always endeavor to evolve into having the best business I can. Truly by doing this, you can increase profitability dramatically. So the following are the steps I suggest.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”, Winston Churchill.
I have read that the number one reason new businesses fail is lack of money. I believe this is true. But there is more to the story than not having enough money. Lots of times they do have money. There have been many entrepreneurs that I have run across who have told me they spent $50,000, $100,000, or even $200,000 and they have nothing to show for it. So they really did have enough money to, at the very least, start small and then build from there.
So what is the problem? As I see it, it is two fold. One reason is many emerging designers just don’t know where to start. Their beginnings are somewhat chaotic as they jump from task to task without a plan. They don’t even know who their target customer is. Or they think they do but haven’t done any research to insure that they are right. They do step 5 before step one. I have even seen people spend years on their brand and yet haven’t had any sales because they make it the last priority. One entrepreneur I know put $1 million of inventory in his warehouse before he even started to think about how to sell it.
Another issue I see is brand owners who spend their money on ineffective marketing. They jump around trying a little of this and a little of that. I had one client spend $50,000 a fashion show in Europe yet sold no stores and had no plans to do so. And how many people do one $10,000 trade show with no orders placed, not realizing that it is a building process and takes many shows before they see results. Or they try to do so many things but do not consistently pursue a few targeted strategies that will ultimately build results.
Yes, not having enough money makes it hard to be successful but spending what you have unwisely is the biggest culprit of all.
I recently read a statistic stated by Manhattan Associates that…
“Online retailers have seen sales decrease by as much as 23 percent in zip codes where physical stores close.”
That is an interesting statistic and surprising to some people I tell it to. Most fashion industry people see the internet taking business away from brick and mortar. What they don’t see is that brick and mortar stores support internet business.
This statistic also supports many retailers strategy around “omni-channel” retailing, where merchants seek to provide customers with a seamless experience whether shopping online via desktop or mobile device or at a traditional retail store.
I believe in the advantages of having several business silos because they form a synergy that multiples you sales. That is why it is advantageous to sell at physical stores as well as on line. The more exposure you have the more the consumer gets to know you and the more opportunities there are to increase you volume.
What is important to note here is that being in a brick and mortar store also helps build your brand. I’ve read that it takes 9 points of contact before a customer purchases a product. The truth is how many points of contact you need depends on many factors. However there is data that supports the idea that there needs to be several touch points.
The great thing about being in a traditional retailer is that a customer can touch and feel and try on your product before they buy. Many people prefer to shop that way.
It is a smart strategy to be in many brick and mortar stores in order to build your business and get your name out.
With the advent of the internet more and more brands are focusing on website sales, sometimes to the detriment of their volume. Don’t be short sighted.
First off, what exactly is ethically produced fashion.
According to Ethical Fashion Forum “ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing impact on the environment.
“If you describe something as ethical, you mean that it is morally right or morally acceptable.” Collins English Dictionary
For the EFF, the meaning of ethical goes beyond doing no harm, representing an approach which strives to take an active role in poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood creation, minimizing and counteracting environmental concerns.”
Ethically produced fashion matters to consumers. In the US more and more people are becoming more socially conscious. As a human beings, we are constantly bombarded with news of : climate change, poverty, war, worldwide inequalities, shrinking natural resources and other challenges. More people than ever before have woken up to the fact that we absolutely need to do something. One of the ways people are doing something is by buying ethically made product.
In fact the consumer is so motivated to buy this way, “They will even spend 10 to 15 percent more on ethically produced clothing,” according to Marshal Cohen, retail analyst at NPD Group.
Social media is huge right now, and consumers like to post about the brands they prefer. Those that admire socially responsible businesses will discuss your brand and recommend it to others. In fact this is a very newsworthy subject that can prompt writers to publish articles about your brand.
I speak to emerging designers all the time who are interested in making ethically produced fashion and have a strategy to do so. One thing I make clear is that the product itself still needs to be right as well as ethically produced. You cannot have one without the other.
Does Making Ethical Fashion Impact Your Sales? I say the jury is in and that it absolutely can impact your sales in a positive way.